Good Things to Share

 

 

What good things do you like to share?  Do you have a story of how you shared something important to you with a friend?  Share it at woodbridgestakeblog@gmail.com

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Our Divine Destiny

Do you know who you really are?  What difference does it make in your life to know that you are a child of God?  Let this video remind you and consider sharing it with someone who needs to feel that God is aware of each of us.

Woodbridge Youth Find Strength and Faith in Honoring Past

By Ian M. Houston 

As they trekked across the majestic summer hills and valleys of Hume, Virginia, pushing and pulling pioneer era handcarts in period clothing, the youth of the Woodbridge Virginia Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke of teamwork, family, pioneer heritage, sacrifice, prayer, and faith in God.

Erin Austin, 15, of the Bristow Ward said, “I really enjoyed seeing how difficult it was for our ancestors to trek all the way to Zion, and even though ours was not even remotely as difficult as theirs, we were all able to understand how strong their faith had to be.”

Trek Handcart family

130 youth and 30 adult leaders were unified in their mission to push forward and as a group to honor the sacrifice made by Mormon pioneers who made the arduous journey across  America’s heartland and over the Rocky Mountains to find a new home and refuge in the uninhabited Salt Lake Valley.

Nathan Christensen, 17, formerly of the Lake Ridge 2nd Ward, traveled from his home in Minnesota back to Virginia for this year’s Trek. He said, “I learned that not all trials are ones you can get through on your own. I realized the first day–I can’t push this handcart by myself. I need other people.”

Trek family

A common theme for many of the youth prior to arriving and leaving the comforts of home was expressed by Jordan Roderick, 17, of the Bristow Ward who said, “At first I didn’t think Trek was going to be a good experience, but that changed when I met my family.”  He added, “I had the best Trek family anyone could wish for – my ‘Ma’ and ‘Pa’ and siblings were great and we got along very well.” Roderick said he enjoyed “sitting around the campfire and telling stories and singing songs with them.”

Events that particularly left an impression on the youth were the “Women’s Pull” and the morning of reflection on the last day.  Leah Gaush, 18, of the Lake Ridge I Ward said, “Before we started the women’s pull, we sang together the hymn As Sisters in Zion, and I came to know of the unity, strength, and divinity of women in the church. The errand of angels is given to women.”

Trek Caitlin McClain

During the morning of reflection, the youth dotted green hills, rocky areas, and paths, pondering and praying individually while reading poignant letters from their parents.  They then gathered as a group for a special and sacred testimony meeting with their leaders in the woods.  At this gathering, Woodbridge Stake President Clark Price sincerely thanked all leaders for their efforts to organize this event, and praised the youth for their faith and commitment.

Trek Testimony Meeting

A New Perspective of Sacred Sundays

If you have a few minutes before going to church, you might consider reading The Chapel: Our Sabbath Sanctuary from Elder M. Russell Ballard.  It might enhance your perspective of the Chapel and your Sabbath experience.

In the Chapel

If you have some free time today and are looking for activities to help your children have the right perspective of the Sabbath, check out this article. It is full of ideas for Sunday activities for all different ages.

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We would love to post your thoughts about Sacred Sundays on this blog.  Please send an email to woodbridgestakeblog@gmail.com and let us know what helps you keep the right perspective on the Sabbath.

Camping Around the Woodbridge Stake

While the Boy Scouts in the Woodbridge Stake were off on their adventures in West Virginia and the Young Women were at Verdun Adventure Bound for Girls Camp, youth aged eight to eleven had various camps and adventures near home right here in Prince William County.

The eleven year old Scouts in the Stake traveled to our own local Prince William Forest Park for an overnight campout.  Thanks to Chuck Diamond of the Lake Ridge 1st Ward they spent Friday afternoon and evening earning two merit badges: Indian folklore and Chess.  Friday night’s dinner was prepared and served by the Stake Primary Presidency.  The scouts also had a flag ceremony, a flag retirement ceremony and campfire.

11 yr old camp 2017 tents

Saturday was filled with activities including fire building, knife and axe handling, lashing and knots, and orienteering. The final activity was an orienteering hike.  The scouts came home with their own compasses and new knowledge.

11 yr old camp 2017 Capture the Flag

Capture the Flag during free time in Prince William Forest Park

11 yr old camp 2017 Chess

Earning the Chess Merit Badge

Some of the wards in the Stake sent their Cub Scouts to Day Camp at Leesylvania State Park.  They spent four days attending classes in leatherworking, woodworking, fishing, STEM activities, arts and crafts, nature, archery and BB guns.  They theme of the camp was Bugs Alive and they found bugs for the bug houses they built, made bugs in arts and crafts, and they learned about bees in the nature class from a local Bee enthusiast, Christina Ek.

Cub Scout Day Camp 2017 BB Guns

The last day of camp took on a new twist.  Instead of having skits like they have in the past, camp leaders created an elaborate challenge course with many activities to challenge the boys.  They had several races to run: a leap frog race, a relay race, a partner sack race, and a Worm in a Cave race.  They also had to pretend to be a bug with a pool noodle as an antenna and push a ball with the antenna.   They got to use slingshots and had to crawl through a string spider web without touching the string.

Cub Scout Day Camp 2017 Pack 454

Cub Scout Day Camp 2017 Flag Ceremony

Flag Ceremony at Cub Scout Day Camp led by Den 6 including by Pack 454 from the Quantico Ward

Cub Scout Day Camp 2017 Walking Sticks

All set for a hike after decorating their walking sticks with leather and beads.

Some of the 8-11 year old girls in the Stake, the Activity Days girls, also had a chance to attend a day camp.   A couple of the wards put together activities for their girls to have some extra time learning and being together.

Wendy Orr from the Bristow ward described their camp.  “Our camp theme this year was Dr. Seuss “Oh the places you’ll go.”  We focused on Missionary work.  Our Sister Missionaries came on Wednesday to help the girls with their skit and participate in a missionary interview.  The girls then wrote letters to our Sister Missionaries families which we sent with photos of each girl with the Missionary.”
She explained how they made Gospel Rocks. “Each girl painted a rock and put a message on the back, some put the church web address on the back some said something nice.”  They also participated in a service project, pulling up cabbage from Wendy’s garden. She said, “I very much appreciated the help!”
Bristow_group
gospelrocks
wayswecanserve
The Lake Ridge 1st Ward Activity Days also had a week long day camp.  Activity Days leader Jennifer Gray said, “We learned about how we are all superheroes with a divine mission to fulfill. We had two days filled with crafts and activities and a final “fun in the sun” pool day with our families and friends.”
She described her favorite part of camp, the Holy Ghost obstacle course and the campfire testimony meeting on the second day. “During the obstacle course some of the girls listened to the tempting voices that encouraged them to let go of the rope. When they did, they were gently reminded that we all make mistakes in life but through the atoning power of Jesus Christ we can repent and return to complete our mission. With a picture of the Savior firmly in hand, they returned to the course and were able to finish with the assistance of the “Holy Ghost” (leaders quietly encouraging them through the course).
“At the testimony meeting shortly after, many of the girls shared powerful testimonies of the Savior, their experiences at camp, and how they felt when they completed the obstacle course, took off the blindfold, and saw their leaders standing next to a portrait of Christ. We have amazing girls and we feel so honored to share these experiences with them. “
Lake Ridge 1st Ward Activity Days Camp
Thank you to all the leaders who have spent countless hours planning and preparing so many wonderful growing experiences for the youth in the Woodbridge Stake.